Parents and Families

A medical student

You may be wondering, “What can I do to ensure that my student maximizes their time at Michigan?” U-M has a wealth of resources and experiences to prepare students for life after graduation. However, the interests of the student are the best drivers for determining the resources to tap. A bit of planning, serendipity, curiosity and initiative will help guide your student on a rewarding journey.

For freshmen

The first year (and often into the second) is a time of exploration.

  • Encourage your student to check out Maize Pages to explore student organizations that will introduce them to new people and help them build a campus network
  • Students applying for research positions, campus and summer jobs can attend one of the University Career Center’s (UCC) Resume Labs to learn about creating a resume
  • Students may require reference letters for summer jobs and internships. Visit the UCC for a reference letters FAQ for students

For sophomores

Sophomore students are more familiar with academic demands and have likely fallen into routines, opening up time for them to think about ideas for the future.

  • Encourage them to meet with a career coach to talk about career options, majors, summer jobs, internships and more
  • This is also the year that U-M encourages students to declare their major. If your student is still deciding on a major there are many resources to support them through that process. You might advise them to talk to a career coach about taking a career assessment through the UCC. The UCC helps interpret the results with students and assists them in thinking more intentionally about their choice of major and possible career options
  • UCC also offers Career Immersions where students spend a day in fields that interest them to learn more about day-to-day responsibilities, meet alumni and tour workspaces
  • Talking with professionals is another great way to learn about the world of work. U-M's University Career Alumni Network (UCAN) connects students with alumni who can provide career-related information. These informal conversations allow students to gain insight into career paths and even learn about opportunities that they may not have previously considered

For juniors

Junior year is when students have more career focus.

  • Students are encouraged to take a broad range of elective credits to round out their academic experience. Today’s opportunities often expect demonstrated analytical skills and experience with software such as Excel and data manipulation tools. Developing diverse skill sets serves students well when looking for jobs and internships.
  • The summer between junior and senior year is most popular for internship experiences. All students are highly encouraged to participate in internships to test their skills and learn firsthand about work life and career options. The University Career Center’s Handshake system is a great resource for finding internship opportunities nationwide. Students can set up searches for their areas of interest and apply online for those opportunities for which they are qualified. Students need to know the cadence of the hiring timelines for their industries of interest. Some will have early fall deadlines and others will be posted just in time as employers determine their needs.
  • Students exploring the option of continuing their education in a graduate/professional school are advised to meet with career coaches. Understanding the range of programs, application timelines and admissions expectations is important for successful applications

For seniors

This is an important and exciting time for students as they prepare for Commencement in the Big House, apply for jobs and graduate/professional school and perhaps even consider full-time job offers from their summer employers.

  • The UCC will help students make connections through the UCC career events offered throughout the year. Events such as niche career fairs, broader job and internship fairs and professional school fairs should be on students' radars
  • Students are also highly encouraged to leverage all career assistance offered through their individual school/college. These offices offer career support related to their specific disciplines
  • All students, but especially seniors, should continue to build their professional networks
  • Students will want to make sure that they have all their graduation requirements in line. They're encouraged to meet with their academic advisor(s) and schedule a senior audit to ensure requirements are complete
  • Last but not least, encourage your student to pause and enjoy life on campus. Before they know it, they'll be one of the newest members of U-M’s alumni network.


Reach out to the University Career Center by:

Sending a message or mentioning the University Career Center in Facebook posts:
Tweeting: @careercenter
Visiting the University Career Center website:

Calling: (734) 764-7460


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November 2018 Newsletter

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